How Long Can A Dog Go Without Pooping?

How Long Can A Dog Hold Its Poop When Medical Condition Plays A Role

What is the maximum duration a dog can survive without defecating? For how many days can a dog last without a bowel movement occurring? Is it wise to right away turn to DIY treatments for a dog struggling with constipation? It’s crucial to note that signs of constipation aren’t necessarily indicative of a severe condition. However, if your dog hasn’t been able to defecate for several consecutive days, it becomes an urgent health issue that demands attention.

If the constipation is accompanied by behavioral changes, appetite disruptions, dehydration, and the inability to exercise, it could be a severe condition. This guide sheds light on various elements of dog constipation problems.

How Often Does A Dog Need To Poop?

A dog needs to poop one to three times a day, depending on the amount of food eaten, metabolism rate, breed, and digestive system condition. Even your dog’s diet and genes have a role to play in how long can dogs hold their poop.

When dogs eat, the food directly passes through the colon and does not go through the intestines as it does in humans. Thus, with post-consuming foods, your dog’s bowel movements are then activated, and stools are excreted.

Although puppies process food much quickly in the digestive tract, and this leads to a higher pooping frequency due to weak immune systems, a sensitive stomach, difficulty in controlling stools, and varied dog foods, a puppy dog might poop more than 3 times a day.

If you notice any straining, stress when trying to remove stools, or passing small balls of stool or firm matter, keep in mind, these are likely symptoms of constipation.

How Long Can A Dog Go Without Pooping?

A dog can go without pooping for 48 hours. Despite no loss of appetite and health problems, if your dog has not pooped for more than 48 hours, you need to visit the vet and identify the cause immediately.

However, this rule does not apply to dogs of all ages. The duration of how long can a puppy go without pooping would be much shorter than an adult or senior dog. Thus, if you notice that your puppy has not defecated for more than 12 hours, you need to start paying more attention as this could be a sign of something else.

Now the reason for this can be as severe as central nervous system disorders, digestive system malfunctions, low fiber diet, lack of exercise due to lethargy, or even existing medications.

In some cases, the colon doesn’t do its bit accurately. Thus, instead of food, stuff like blood and mucus can be passed out. This, accompanied by urinary tract infection, could worsen constipation and weaken your dog’s body and bones.

But What Causes Dog Constipation?

  • Lack of water intake – thus poor hydration
  • Medications such as antihistamines and diuretics – restrict water build-up
  • Enlarged prostate gland or prostate cancer
  • Problems in the growth pattern of lymph nodes
  • Tumors in the colon or anal region – formation of abscesses
  • Pain in the back and hips – hip dysplasia

Also, if your dog shall go without pooping for more than 48 hours, bacteria and parasites from the digestive tract (colon) will slide lower down. This could affect canines with sepsis and threaten their life.

To combat constipation in dogs, the best way is to curate a dog’s diet rich in fiber. This prevents liquid stools, diarrhea, and the need for a laxative material that enhances bowel movement.

Dogs Poop Too Much Sometimes, Try Providing Them With Home Remedies Such As Pumpkin

Health Conditions That Affect A Dog’s Defecating Habit

A dog can go 48 hours without pooping, but the side effects of making this a habit could affect your dog’s well-being and worsen the overall health condition. Try and neutralize this discomfort to avoid chronic constipation, also known as obstipation. The following problems can arise in the form of an infection, disease, or random bodily trouble.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory bowel disease leads to chronic irritation in the intestines. The inflammation creates immense discomfort and a major loss of appetite. Even worse, it leads to frequent vomiting, smelly odor feces, and extreme lethargy.

One solution to tackle this weakness is to give your dog a hydrolyzed diet. A veterinarian would cater to this diet by adding small particles of protein in the form of beef, lamb, chicken, and other meats.

If sufficient concern and care are not shown, you will notice signs of a weakening body and bones. Over time, this could lead to bone injuries and put your dog at risk of a back, leg, or hip issue.


Hypothyroidism would lead to hair fall, dull skin coating, straining, and even intolerance to the cold. No matter the age, size, and breed of your dog, you must consider hypothyroidism as a sign of constipation. In fact, this condition can force your dog to go over 48 hours without pooping.

You can reduce symptoms from spreading by including mineral oil that has iodine content. Make sure you add some kelp, shellfish, and seaweed to your dog’s food too. Different breeds can suffer from a string of deformities in various organs due to the thyroid spread.

Prostatic Disease

The prostatic disease is directly associated with the prostate gland of a doggo. Over time it can develop into a urinary tract infection (or colitis) and disrupt the day-to-day life of your doggo. This could lead to excessive straining when trying to poop or urinate. Also, this condition could develop into reasons enough to bring about lifestyle changes in your pet.

Experts suggest abdominal exercise and analgesic pain medicines. Alternatively, constipation in dogs due to prostatic disease can also be controlled by choosing the right canned dog food.

Intake Of Opioids Medication

In case of severe muscle stress, growing tumors, mucus clusters in the intestines, or strenuous stool-passing, pain relievers such as opioids help. However, this could lead to constipation in dogs. A vet could provide better guidance and options to feed your pet diets that limit plenty of constipation worries.

Thing People Can Do When Their Dog Go Without Pooping

What Should You Do When Your Dog Is Over Pooping?

When your doggo is over-pooping, take him for a walk and make him do lots of exercises. This may help in restabilizing factors that are causing your dog to poop excessively.

When the intestines in your dog’s tummy are inflamed, the reason could be roundworms, giardia, and hookworms. Either of these steps should help resolve the over-pooping issue:

  • Prevent feeding additional snacks after mealtime, especially human foods.
  • As they require some time to adapt, when you alter with your dog’s diet with a new brand of dog food, try putting in a varying ratio of new and old food in the bowl. As time passes, your dog will get accustomed to the new brand and begin to poop normally.
  • If you think the issue is emotional stress, then make him do more exercise. Swimming would be a fantastic option.
  • In the case of parasite formation leading to diarrhea, a vet could advise medication or home-made dog diets.

Reduce your dog’s poop with food choices that have a digestibility rating of around 80%. Even better, do not provide more than adequate fiber as it leads to over-pooping.

Answer To Your Question On Dog Not Pooping

What Should You Do When Your Dog Is Constipated?

If your dog is forced to go without pooping for more than 48 hours, you need to identify the causes of constipation. This problem could lead to anus infection or even megacolon that requires surgery.

Anything from dietary, lifestyle or potty training changes could lead to reasons resolving constipation in dogs. Here are a few things you can do:

  • Provide them with sufficient clean drinking water at all times. The lack of water makes it hard for the stool to solidify.
  • Pets can combat constipation by eating a diet rich in bran. This acts as a stool softener and is a great solution for constipation in dogs.
  • Canned pumpkin could be the best solution to eradicate constipation symptoms and fight its causes. The high content of fiber and water helps to stimulate the dog’s poop. Resources such as beta-carotene [1] are present too.
  • Let a vet use enema on your dog. This can help clear the clog and trapped waste. Keep in mind, do not do this at home yourself. Even if you have a dog family, a vet is best suited for such tasks.
  • Give your dog Benefiber, Laxatone, Aloe Forex, Milk of Magnesia, or lubricate the colon by formulating a recipe with high fiber food and mineral oil.
  • More effective treatment plans could be to use Metamucil. This increases water in the stool and reduces signs of hard stool formation.
  • Shower your pet with extra love to curb his anxiety.

The best part is that all these things can be done at home. Thus there is no need to take your pets to the vet when opting for these methods.

Dogs Question & Reason On Pooping

Frequently Asked Questions

What causes a dog to constipate?

The causes of constipation in dogs could be due to food sensitivities or an underlying digestive problem. Even too much self-grooming by licking body fur or munching on grass, rocks, garbage, and other non-edible objects could lead to constipation.

What do you do if your dog doesn’t poop for 3 days?

If your dog doesn’t poop for 3 days, you need to visit a vet immediately. A dog that is forced to go without pooping for three days can be diagnosed with stones or even clogged unedible items. In such a case, the sooner you show concern and care, the easier it is to get things under control.

Can a dog still poop if it has a blockage?

Yes, a dog can still poop if it has a blockage. But the problem is that the pieces would be extremely small and stained by blood. Sadly, forcing pooping through a blockage can strain the excretory tract and lead to symptoms of internal wear and tear. With age, this is something that can be fatal.

Can a bowel obstruction clear on its own?

Yes, a bowel obstruction can be cleared by itself. But depending on their age, you could put the lives of pets at risk. You must ensure you are providing the right diet and sufficient water, both before and after being diagnosed with constipation.


Now you know how long can a dog go without pooping. More than 48 hours should be considered as an alarm, and you must start to include canned pumpkin and diuretic ingredients in your dog’s diet.

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